Monday Memo, March 19, 2024

Dear A&S Colleagues, 

This winter we welcome several superlative additions to our faculty bookshelf, from some of country's most prestigious publishers. Two alumni have also published their debut novels. Read more in the Kudos section regarding:  

  • Karen Chandler, co-editor, Teaching Black Speculative Fiction (Routledge)
  • Kelly E. Hill, A Home for Friendless Women (Vintage)
  • Ellen Birkett Morris, Beware the Tall Grasses (Columbus State Univ. Press)
  • Nicholas S. Paliewicz, Extraction Politics (Penn State Press)

with shout-outs to other 2024 titles featured in recent Monday Memos: 

  • Karen Chandler, Tending to the Past: Selfhood and Culture in Children's Narratives about Slavery and Freedom (Univ. Press of Mississippi)
  • Lauren Freeman, Microaggressions in Medicine (Oxford Univ. Press)
  • Li Zeng, The Art of Allusion in Chinese Poetry (Cambridge Scholars)
  • Chuck Ziegler, Russia in the Pacific (Oxford Univ. Press)

Writing a book and releasing it into the world is not for the faint of heart, and each of these titles is a testament to the author's scholarship, creativity, and perseverance. Several of these authors also have book events coming up soon (see the Events section for details):

  • Kelly Hill will be in conversation with David Dominé to discuss her novel on Wed., March 20, 7 pm.
  • A celebration of Lauren Freeman's book will be hosted by City Council Member Ben Reno-Weber on March 27, 5:30 pm. 
  • Ellen Birkett Morris will discuss her novel with Ian Stansel on March 28, 7:00 pm.

Finally, a reminder to A&S event planners: as you are choosing a date and time, please check the UofL calendar for conflicts and enter your own information there as soon as possible. Even if many details are still pending, other planners need to know to avoid that timeslot. This is especially true of occasions where Dean Touron's presence is wanted, requests for which should be sent to Courtney Griffith or me at the earliest possible moment. Even though Dayna is indefatigable, she cannot be in two places at once!


Julie Wrinn, Chief of Staff


Reseach Agenda


Udayan Darji Receives Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to Czech Republic

Udayan Darji, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, has received a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to the Czech Republic for academic year 2024-25, one of only about 40 such awards offered world-wide. Professor Darji proposes to build a mathematical and a multinational bridge between two groups: 1) Czech, Hungarian, and Polish mathematicians with expertise in topology and logic, and 2) mathematicians from Spain, Belgium, France and Italy with expertise in linear dynamics. The purpose is to create new and innovative lines of investigations in functional analysis, topology, and descriptive set theory. Prof. Darji is uniquely positioned to accomplish this work as he has knowledge, experience, and connections to both groups.

Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations, while raising the profile of their home institution. Congratulations to Dr. Darji! 


Alumna Profile


Jewelry by Shahla Karimi Adorned Taylor Swift at Super Bowl LVIII

By Mila Raque

For Shahla Karimi, jewelry is a way of life. Growing up in an Iranian family, she has been wearing jewelry since she was two weeks old. She came to UofL as a pre-med student with an interest in psychology, and after earning a BA in Psychology in 2004, she continued on to New York University, where she majored in graphic design. Shahla Karimi Jewelry launched in 2014, and Karimi put everything she had into her business as it expanded, turning a profit for the first time in 2018. “There is no such thing as an overnight success,” she said. “An overnight success is five to seven years.”

Ten years after turning her hobby into a full-time job, Karimi got to see her jewelry represented on one of the nation’s biggest entertainment stages. At this year’s Super Bowl LVIII, Taylor Swift wore two of Karimi’s 14k gold ruby rings from her Chromatic Collection. Sporting the Baguette Stacking Ring and Bezel-Set Demi Ring, Swift paid homage to the red and yellow color scheme of the Kansas City Chiefs in support of her boyfriend, Travis Kelce.

Though Karimi’s jewelry has been displayed by a handful of other celebrities (including Reese Witherspoon, Gigi Hadid, and Carrie Underwood), Taylor Swift was the star Karimi wanted most. “Taylor Swift was the epitome,” said Karimi with a smile. Read more.





Karen Chandler Publishes Teaching Black Speculative Fiction

Congratulations to Karen Chandler on the publication of Teaching Black Speculative Fiction: Equity, Justice, and Antiracism, edited by KaaVonia Hinton and Karen Michele Chandler, Associate Professor of English and Department Chair (Routledge, March 2024). This book offers innovative approaches to teaching Black speculative fiction (e.g., science fiction, fantasy, horror) in ways that will inspire middle and high school students to think, talk, and write about issues of equity, justice, and antiracism. The book highlights texts by seminal authors such as Octavia E. Butler as well as influential and emerging authors including Nnedi Okorafor, Kacen Callender, B. B. Alston, Tomi Adeyemi, and Bethany C. Morrow. Each chapter introduces a Black speculative text and author; describes how the text engages with issues of equity, justice, or antiracism; and offers engaging teaching activities.

"Teaching Black Speculative Fiction is an indispensable tool that echoes the imaginative cosmology of the genre, providing educators with thoughtful applications to explore the rhetorical functions of speculative fiction as a critical literary analysis tool to understand and actively resist systemic racism and injustice." —Roberta Price Gardner, Kennesaw State University

For more information and to order a copy, visit the publisher's website. See book cover below. 


Expert Opinion: WTOP Interviews Judith Danovitch

Judith Danovitch, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, was recently interviewed by WTOP for the article, "Why texting your children at school could sabotage their learning." As more and younger children possess cell phones, parents' anxiety fuels a need to be constantly in touch and can become a major distraction. As Dr. Danovitch explained, “Receiving that text message takes your attention away from what the teacher is saying, away from a math problem that you might be working on.” Read more. 


Kelly E. Hill Publishes Debut Novel

Congratulations to Kelly E. Hill (Ph.D. Humanities) on the publication of her debut novel, A Home for Friendless Women (Vintage, March 19, 2024). In Victorian-era Louisville, the Home for Friendless Women is run by benevolent benefactors with one mission: to reform the fallen women who live there into pious mothers and wives through religious lessons and hard work. For Ruth, a college student who’s expelled after a campus sexual assault, the Home is a purgatory to endure before she can get her life back. For Belle, a queer sex worker who exchanged her bed at a brothel for one in the Home, it’s a safe place to rest her feet until she can track down her missing lover. And for Minnie, the daughter of the religious couple who founded the charity, the Home is her mother’s idea of a cautionary tale. But as Minnie prepares for the Home’s silver anniversary party, she finds herself questioning the true cost of good intentions—and grappling with a terrible secret that has the power to unravel the Home entirely. Read more.

This novel was at the core of Dr. Hill's dissertation project and grew out of research she conducted during an internship she held at the Filson Historical Society. During her time in the Comparative Humanities graduate program, she published short stories and articles in both literary and academic journals and delivered various lectures, including at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum.

Kelly said, “I’ve been a creative writer for most of my adult life, but this book asked something new and challenging of me, and I have the Ph.D. program to thank for that." Besides her work as a creative writer, Kelly is currently teaching as a Part-Time Lecturer in the Comparative Humanities and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Departments. 

Kelly will be in conversation with David Dominé to discuss the novel on Wed., March 20, 7 pm, Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Avenue 40206.


CACHe Hosts 2024 Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference

Kudos to Tom Jennings and the Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHe), Department of Anthropology, for hosting the 2024 Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference over the first weekend in March. More than 100 people attended from throughout the region. CACHe director Tom Jennings reported that nearly everyone he spoke to was impressed by our facility and the work our faculty and students are doing. "We are the only graduate degree granting university in the state that is actively doing local/regional archaeology and training the next generation of archaeologists for cultural resource management (CRM) jobs," said Jennings. "I had four different CRM firms approach me actively seeking our students to fill positions. Archaeology is in a huge period of growth, and our students are in demand." 


Ellen Birkett Morris (A&S '88) Publishes Debut Novel

Congratulations to Ellen Birkett Morris (A&S ’88) on the publication of her debut novel, Beware the Tall Grass (Columbus State University Press, March 2024). This novel weaves the stories of the Sloans, a modern family grappling with their young son Charlie’s troubling memories of a past life as a soldier in Vietnam, and Thomas Boone, a young man caught up in the drama of mid-sixties America who is sent to Vietnam. Beware the Tall Grass explores the power of love and mercy with grace and artful sensitivity in a world where circumstances often occur far beyond our control. Read more. 

“Eve Sloan has much to teach us about perseverance, courage, and growth, and Beware the Tall Grass is a captivating exploration of relationships, life's mysteries, and above all, the healing power of love.” —Diane Gottlieb, MER Review


Nicholas Paliewicz Publishes Extraction Politics

Kudos to Nicholas S. Paliewicz, Associate Professor of Communication, on the publication of his new book, Extraction Politics (Penn State Press, March 2024). Paliewicz traces the rhetorical presences of one of the largest and most lucrative mining companies in the world, Rio Tinto. Taking readers on a “rhetorical pilgrimage” across the American Southwest, this book shows how Rio Tinto creates different rhetorical personae at its sites of extraction. From Ronald Reagan’s frontiersman advertisements for the Borax Mine in California to the pioneer Mormon persona at the Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake City and the folksy, paternalistic persona at a proposed mine on land sacred to the San Carlos Apache in Oak Flat, Arizona, the company appropriates local history to pass as a valued member of the public without having to settle in these communities and bear the costs of extraction. This does not occur without resistance, however. Extraction Politics also shows how activists use different rhetorical tactics to expose Rio Tinto as an exploitative, colonialist polluter. In an era of surging demand for dwindling supplies of minerals and metals, this book previews what the future of extractivism may look like. Read more.  

“In this insightful book, Nicholas Paliewicz encounters the horrifying aftermath of colonial and ecological violence, uncovers the resources that Rio Tinto uses to alchemically generate a shifting―and shifty―set of corporate personae, and visits scenes of Indigenous and environmentalist resistance. Extraction Politics is at once a damning critique of extractive corporate rhetoric, a careful celebration of grassroots resistance, and a clarion call to stay with the trouble of entangled, impure earthly coexistence.” ―Joshua Trey Barnett,author of Mourning in the Anthropocene


Undergraduate Research Opportunities


KEEP: Kentucky Environmental Education Pipeline

Principal Investigator Rachel Neal, Associate Professor of Biology, along with Profs. Mikus Abolins-Abols and Cynthia Corbitt, have won a NIEHS R25 summer research training program award for undergraduates. The project, entitled KEEP: Kentucky Environmental Education Pipeline, received $675,000 for March 2024 through February 2029 to fund 10 weeks of summer research training, including an initial one-week skills bootcamp and a one-week environmental sampling bootcamp. All students will be paid $15/hour for 37.5 hours/week for the 10-week period, followed by a poster symposium with awards for top poster presentations.

The KEEP Advisory Committee is currently recruiting 10 rising juniors and seniors. All students may apply but priority is given to students who are underrepresented minorities, disabled, or economically disadvantaged. Prior research experience is a plus. Link to the application. Review of applications begins March 19.


Calls for Applications & Nominations


2024 Green Threads Workshop

Interested in integrating themes of ecological, social & economic stewardship into your courses? The Sustainability Council invites full- and part-time faculty, instructors & GTA Academy members from ANY discipline to apply for the 2024 Green Threads teaching enrichment program. Since 2009, the program has reached over 100 professors and former participants are welcome in Green Tapestries. We’ll explore ways to weave sustainability into your curriculum through a day-long workshop between spring and fall semesters. You’ll earn a $500 honorarium and an interdisciplinary collegial network. Apply by March 22, with Chair’s approval. Details and application here. Contact: Brent Fryrear,, (502) 852-8854. Below: the 2023 Green Threads cohort.


2024 Trustees Award: Call for Nominations

Nominations for the 2024 Trustees Award will be accepted until April 1, at 5 p.m. The UofL Board of Trustees established the Trustees Award to honor faculty who have had, currently or in the past, an extraordinary impact on students. The recipient will receive a commemorative plaque and a $5,000 award. The Trustees Award will be presented to the recipient at the Annual Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards Reception on April 18, 6-8 p.m., in the Student Activities Center ballroom. See the Trustees Award webpage for more information and to submit a nomination. For questions, email Jake Beamer or call 852-5795.


ABI Social Justice Awards Now Open

The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research (ABI) is accepting submissions for the 17th-Annual Social Justice Research Paper and Multimedia Awards. All UofL undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply.

  • Multimedia Submissions due by Sunday, March 31, by 11:59pm
  • Paper Submissions due by Monday, April 22, by 11:59pm

View full guidelines and the application here. For questions, email See flyer below.


Community Engaged Scholarship Grants

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium announces the 2024 Engaged Scholarship Research/Creative Activities Grants Program. Faculty and staff from ESC Member Institutions, which includes UofL, may apply for up to $5,000 to fund a one-year project. Collaborative projects among faculty and staff from more than one discipline or at more than one university are encouraged. Funds may be used for faculty, graduate, undergraduate, community partner, and administrative stipends; supplies and expenses; or project-related travel. No indirect costs will be associated with this seed award. Funds may not be used for travel to conferences.

  • Application open: Monday, March 4, 2024
  • Application deadline: Friday, May 3, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST

Visit the program website for more guidelines and more information. 


A&S Events


Rieger Speaker Series: Antar Tichavakunda

The Rieger Speaker Series' 2024 focus is on racial justice, equity, and inclusion in higher education, under the theme "Achieving and Fostering a Sense of Belonging in Higher Education in a Changing Political World." 

First Rieger Speaker talk will be Antar Tichavakunda’s lecture, “Learning About Belonging Through Black Joy.” In this talk, Tichavakunda will draw from his research on Black student life to highlight lessons about sense of belonging in an increasingly polarized and contentious higher education context. There will be a (modest) reception before the lecture.

Antar A. Tichavakunda received his Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California and is an Assistant Professor of Race and Higher Education at the University of California Santa Barbara. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Tichavakunda is a product of the DC Public Schools and earned a BA in Education Studies from Brown University. Prior to his doctoral studies, Tichavakunda worked as an 11th grade English teacher in DC Public Schools. Using qualitative inquiry, Tichavakunda has engaged in research on college readiness, Black students’ experiences at predominantly White institutions, and more broadly the sociology of race and higher education. His published work can be found in Urban Education, Educational Policy, Race Ethnicity and Education, The Review of Higher Education, and Educational Studies. His first book, Black Campus Life: The Worlds Black Students Make at a Historically White Institution, is published with SUNY Press. Tichavakunda enjoys watching anime, eating soul food (especially savory grits), and writing in cafes. For more information, contact: Michal Kofman, Ph.D. March 19, 2024, 6 PM, 139 Shumaker Research Building (SRB). See flyer below.


Sustainability Roundtables

The next Sustainability Roundtable will take place on Tuesday, March 19,  4:00pm to 4:50pm, and continue at the same time on alternate Tuesdays (4/2, 4/16). The format is a 30-40 minute presentation from a variety of speakers throughout the year, followed by 15-20 minutes of open discussion.

Anyone with an interest in sustainability can give talks at the speaker series and participate in the audience, including faculty, staff, students, practitioners, teachers, government officials, and members of the public. If you would like to give a presentation, or would like to hear a particular speaker, please contact Tamara SlussJoin Microsoft Teams Meetingor dial-in at 502-792-9582(Conference ID: 266 387 272 198# Passcode: kxhTvM)


GNAS Bake Sale!

The Graduate Network of Arts & Sciences (GNAS) will hold a bake sale on Wednesday, March 2011 am to 3 pm with a booth in the SAC (Atrium #2—table by the Marketplace) and BAB (Atrium #2—table at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor). We are trying to raise funds to purchase doctoral regalia (caps & gowns) for A&S graduate students that do not have the financial means to purchase one themselves. See flyer below.


French Film Festival

All are invited to this year's French Film Festival. To read more about this year's films, see links below.

Contact: Matthieu Dalle ●  ● (502) 852-6115.

The 2024 University of Louisville French Film Festival is made possible by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, the Modern Language Fund, the French Club, and Ms. Nancy Brown.


Dept. of Communication's Communication Showcase 

All are invited to the Department of Communication's Communication Showcase, a time where we highlight interesting classes, innovative research, impactful community engagement, impressive international opportunities, and helpful resources. Wednesday, March 2710 am -12 noon in the lobby of Strickler. See flyer below.


Faculty Spotlight by the Liberal Studies Program: Cheri Levinson

The Liberal Studies Program's Faculty Spotlight Series aims to highlight the accomplishments, research endeavors, and talents of A&S Faculty. Join us for a presentation by Dr. Cheri Levinson, Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of the EAT (Eating Anxiety Treatment) Lab and Clinic.

Dr. Levinson, who is the recipient of a prestigious NIH grant, will discuss her groundbreaking research aimed at developing innovative interventions to enhance our understanding and treatment of eating disorders. Wed., March 27, 12 noon, SRB 139. See flyer below.


Microaggressions in Medicine book release party

Celebrate the publication of Microaggressions in Medicine (Oxford University Press, February 2024) by Lauren Freeman, Professor Philosophy, and UofL philosophy alum Heather Stewart. The celebration is being hosted by City Council Member Ben Reno-Weber at Douglass Community Center (2305 Douglass Blvd) on March 27, 5:30 pm. At the event, Prof. Freeman will be in conversation with Dr. Eli Pendleton (Baptist Health), Dr. Jennifer Porter (Norton/UofL), and Oliver Hall (KY Health Justice Network), plus a Q+A with the audience and a book signing. Carmichael’s will be selling books, and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to the event here and see flyer below. 


Ellen Birkett Morris and Ian Stansel Discuss Beware the Tall Grass

Ellen Birkett Morris (A&S 88) will discuss her debut novel, Beware the Tall Grass, with Dr. Ian Stansel, director of the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English. The novel, winner of the 2023 Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence, weaves the stories of the Sloans, a modern family grappling with their young son Charlie’s troubling memories, and Thomas, a teenager caught up in the drama of mid-sixties America who is sent to Vietnam. Thursday, March 28 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm, Carmichael's Bookstore 2720 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206.


Philosophy Brown Bag Series: Paul-Anthony Turner on Christian Absolutism

Philosophy Brown Bag Series: "Understanding Christian Absolutism in Contemporary Politics: Resources from Heidegger and Vattimo" by Paul-Anthony Turner, University of Kentucky graduate student. Wednesday, April 3 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Bingham Humanities Building, HUM 300


Bingham Faculty Fellows Symposium: Bodies and Embodiment

The Bingham Faculty Fellows Symposium 2024 is on the theme of "Bodies and Embodiment." Through panel presentations and discussions, participants will explore both how our embodied awareness shapes how we understand ourselves, our environment, nation, health care, culture, and even joy; and, how historical and cultural forces transform, elevate, and erase certain bodies and/or embodiments. Free and open to public." April 4-5, BAB 218


Kentuckiana Meeting for Advancing Participatory Sciences: Integrating Health, Environment, and Community Resilience

Join us for a day of recognizing opportunities, showcasing excellence, and envisioning new partnerships in support of high-impact participatory sciences in the Kentuckiana region. Through plenaries, posters and facilitated discussions, participants will work toward developing actionable strategies that address climate change, health, and community resilience in an integrated manner. Tickets range from free to $80. The registration deadline is April 7. This event is brought to you by The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute and the Association for Advancing Participatory Sciences. Thursday, April 18, UofL Envirome Institute, Urban Design Studio, 429 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. For more information, visit the website or email Lauren Anderson.


Anne Braden Memorial Lecture:  Kiese Laymon

The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research is excited to officially announce that our 17th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 18 at 6pm in Bigelow Hall (Miller Information Technology Center). The lecture will be delivered by Kiese Laymon, 2022 MacArthur Fellow and the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University. Register at


UofL Events



Taste of Technology

UofL’s Digital Transformation Center is hosting their online Taste of Technology event on Thursday, March 28th from 9:30am - 2:30pm. The event kicks off at 9:45 am, featuring a different speaker every hour who will present free resources for students, faculty, and staff. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the free resources that the University provides, while you can also engage with major tech companies!

  • 9: 45 - 10:00 am - Introduction from the Digital Transformation Center
  • 10:00 - 10:45 am - LinkedIn Learning
  • 11:00 - 11:45 am - Adobe
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm - IBM Lecture
  • 1:00 - 2:00 pm - Microsoft
  • 2:00 - 2:30 pm - DTC Recap & Closing Insights – Unleashing Resources for Success

The event is free and open to all students, staff, and faculty. It’s okay log on just for the talks that interest you, but you have to register. See the announcement below for registration and event details. Upon registration, you'll receive a link to access the event at your convenience, enabling you to join and leave as you please. We look forward to your participation. Go to RegistrationGo to the Event Page.


Upcoming Delphi Center Sessions on AI

Leveraging ChatGPT and Firefly to Increase Personal Productivity. Discover the untapped potential of generative AI to supercharge your productivity as an academic. This hands-on session introduces some practical applications of generative AI, empowering you to streamline many of your day-to-day workflows. You will leave this session with personalized strategies to integrate generative AI tools into your daily routines, unlocking new levels of efficiency and and productivity. Friday, March 22, 9 - 10:30 a.m. in the TILL Classroom, 3rd Fl. of Ekstrom Library

Using ChatGPT and Firefly to Support Student Learning. This session explores innovative ways to incorporate AI into the classroom, engaging students and enriching learning experiences across disciplines. You will learn how to navigate discussions on AI with students as well as gain practical insights and strategies for seamlessly integrating AI concepts into your courses. Friday, April 19, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the TILL Classroom, 3rd Fl. of Ekstrom Library

New! Equity Champions Program

The Equity Champions Program brings educators together in supportive communities of transformation. Participants will apply easy-lift, high-impact practices shown to improve student success, gather student feedback, explore the larger contexts of this work, and empower efforts to support student success. Accepted and active participants will receive a $500 stipend. Instructors teaching at least one course during fall 2024 are eligible to apply. Learn more and apply here: Apply by April 1.


Grant writing workshops: Register now for the last remaining grant writing workshops taking place on May 14, 2024, 12 noon - 1:30 pm, from the Office of Community Engagement, Office of the Provost, and Office of Institutional Equity for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Workshops will introduce the basics of grant writing from the lenses of community engagement, present the foundation for developing a letter of inquiry and a full proposal, provide approaches to engage funders, and provide insights into the review process. Register at this link.